As much as his critics want to believe it, Poilievre doesn’t sound like a far-right Telegram channel. He sounds like something else.
Pierre Poilievre is simply addressing belief that the current establishment is heading in the wrong direction and that he has a vision to turn it around. That will seem dark to those who are happy with the direction that Trudeau's government has taken. However, Trudeau has built his slim majority on dividing Canadians. That will fail. Poilievre is raising the voices of those whom Trudeau has left behind in his divisive quest for power.
This article by Colin Holgan is a very well written sly attack on Poilievre with slick undertones intended to imply some hidden agenda.
Sounds similar to the old Liberal messaging alluding to Stephen Harpers hidden agenda, which I believe is still hidden.
I was thinking that Colin Holgan could be a speechwriter for Justin Trudeau.
...oops, was that my outside voice?
This mainstream take drives me mad. We have a Prime Minister and cabinet who are actively destroying our energy industry and have now got their sights on our farming industry - all to serve a globalist agenda. Every litre of oil not pumped in Canada is pumped somewhere else with less environmental regulation. Every pound of food not grow in Canada will be replaced elsewhere - or God help some third world family - not at all. Yet we are told Pollievre is an extremist. The problem the author is going to have is that word is already worn out, along with racist, transphobe, white nationalist, etc. It is applied to everyone not a card carrying progressive all the time. Keep pumping out tripe like this - less and less of us are listening.
Are we REALLY in decline, the writer asks?
A measurement of decline has nothing to do with wokeness or 24/7 virtue signalling but looking all around and seeing unsettling things like the gutting of respect for Parliament and the lack of public debate on important issues as a result. Or how about the measurable decline in the ability of government to do core services?
Our public health system has been limping along for 25 years and political leaders along the way have become accustomed to pasting over the cracks but the day of reckoning has arrived. The decline is measurable in long wait lists and a burnt out nursing staff.
Our judiciary has crossed over into law making territory, that is measurable decline as Legislators become reactionary to the Courts instead of enacting law in the interests of the public.
Our sovereign interests as measurable in military capacity to defend ourselves is an international parody. The military is demoralized, running decrepit equipment and the political masters are pleased with things as they are. At this moment, the military is worse than in decline, it is near collapse.
I could go on and on, but if Poilievre sees decline and speaks openly about, well it the God forsaken truth. We can’t change things for the better if we don’t admit there is a problem.
None of the author’s argument alters the fact that Pierre Pollievre has tapped into something visceral.
People feel left behind. They believe that long-standing institutions (like governments) have dropped the ball, or that they only work to enhance the lives (and investment portfolios) of those who have already “made it”.
And they are arguably not wrong. I can’t imagine what it’s like for the average family to make ends meet right now. People are afraid - if you listen you’ll hear the fear everywhere.
Trust in government is at an all-time low, and disinformation is rife. Even trust in the business sector - which for a long while has outstripped trust in government (or, heaven forbid, media) - is waning fast. And scandalous corporate profits in pretty much every sector aren’t helping.
Folks on the progressive (or even moderate) side of the debate had better take heed. Calling into question Pollievre’s bona fides ain’t gonna cut it. Real solutions for really complex challenges have to be formulated, communicated and implemented with urgency. It will be hard work, but there is so much to lose if we fail to address the justifiable anger that’s been simmering for a long while.
"What he telegraphs is the vision of a social order at a tipping point". H-m-m-m-m...having re-read his para. 6, sounds like a social order "tipping point to me".
Horgan damns "with faint praise"...journalism turned yellow. He takes his extremist projections and coats them in jello..."he does sound like something--something different than what we're used to hearing....an internet language of decline". What bunkish ignorance. The internet is not new. To claim Poilievre has some new insight into its use damns its 55 years of users to being slow learners.
Poilievre is, indeed, "something different" and how that difference will play out is anyone's (including Horgan's) guess. He may fail...as has Trudeau. But this hit piece is a poor substitute for intelligent forecasting.
I agree with most of what is stated here. My problem is not so much the rhetoric being spilled as the fact that he has no solutions to the problems he attempts to bring to light.
A fault in most politicians these days, it seems to me is the demonization of opponents not the offering of solutions to the citizenships needs. I have yet to hear Mr. Poilievre (a gatekeeper and elite) offer a rational answer to any of his beefs. I admit he may be an intelligent man but he still strikes me as someone shouting at clouds and trying to tear it all down as opposed to someone committed to building a long term society for the good of all citizens.
Personally I find this kind of politicking abhorrent, it hits to the lowest common denominator of our society. I can not imagine his brand of populism ever being attractive to me but if it causes the other parties to wake up to issues that have been ignored by most members of political class, it may serve a purpose. The underlying violence of many of his supporters, reflecting from the actions to our south, may not be his fault but he certainly doesn’t do enough to discredit their stances or separate himself from the more radical players.
I have never thought highly of the man since I first saw him in parliament many years ago. He may have matured but I will never support him or his style of politics
I think the author is onto something here, but my sense is they are missing the other element -- the techno-optimism that did (and still) underpins internet culture. It's the notion that these tools 'democratise' all kinds of things. Instead of news being filtered through a few national and local broadcasters, news is democratised -- with all kind of sources and points of view. Uber democratises the taxi industry, bypassing a whole bunch of rules and regulations. Google democratises knowledge -- providing a world's worth of knowledge to anyone with a computer and a browser.
In that context, railing against gatekeepers makes a lot of sense.
But, what we've seen is that this kind of democratisation isn't without its own issues. News comes from all kinds of sources, including voices we probably would have never discovered before (good) but so does waves of ignorance and disinformation -- and trying to distinguish between the two is actually a pretty heavy lift (bad). Uber created a new kind of flexible job that also offered greater urban mobility (good) but these jobs are poorly regulated -- and in some cases it's almost impossible to actually make money working in the gig economy, once the worker's actual costs/overheads are considered (bad). Having the world's knowledge at your fingertips is valuable (good) but -- like news -- not having a quick and easy way to know the quality (and verity) of the content makes sorting the true from the false, the fact from the opinion, a big job.
So, if Poliviere wants to apply this principle to governance, the question is -- how do you keep the benefits without falling into the demonstrated failures? If freeing us from 'gatekeepers' simply means we're all on our own to try to sort through the scams ... if it's just a way for big companies to avoid meaningful regulation ... if it simply means that the powerful have free reign to gain more power ... that isn't really democratisation at all. I continue to be skeptical -- but am willling to wait to see a policy platform and some meat behind the rhetoric.
Can't remember an article that so hit the nail on the head, but the nail is through the author's own point. Yes, Poilievre speaks in atmospheric language but that's because he correctly reads that the atmosphere created by Trudeau is one of complete and absolute fantasy, of a Canada that is evil and must be ripped apart and made whole again in his leftist image. Poilievre, rightly, rejects Trudeau's fantasy and instead is reflecting back what people are telling him: it's getting harder and harder to live day by day. That's the problem, and this comms 'expert' falls into the same trap that most all of the laptop fall into, they can't see it's getting harder because for them, it's not harder. Grow up.
In his last sentence he seems to be doing exactly what he is accusing Poillievre of doing. A quick reading of Mr. Horgan's Linked-In cv is quite informative.
Mr. Horgan, What logic supports the conclusion that you are drawing? Because Mr. Polievre is telling us that things are broken, when he becomes Prime Minister we will be at greater risk? We have the motivation to fix things when we are convinced that they are broken. Mr. Polievre has the motivation to fix things.
It’s unfortunate that our current prime minister has done so much to encourage the polarization and destabilization of our citizens. Perhaps it’s just the culmination of a lot of things: The Twitterverse, the decline of trust in the legacy media, Covid, and a spectacularly inept and divisive government. So Poilievre is merely one of the the results of this difficult time, rather than one of the causes. He will be walking a very fine line.
The Washington Post, this morning, is calling this "The GOP's Nihilist Negation" strategy, their lack of any positive message.
It's very old, long pre-dating the Internet; it can be found in "The Paranoid Style of American Politics", 1964 - an essay that should be a required re-read for every political journalist, every year.
The visions of decline, international weakness, are invariably perpetrated by 'shadowy' forces, never specifically named (as I called out yesterday in these comments). Not even clearly-defined (Poilievre's "consultants", but not which, then there's just a few companies). Even the chosen figurehead for the opposition (Clinton, Trudeau) is not the boss of the Shadows, just their willing puppet.
And only the speaker can fix it, of course, since all others are oblivious to the looming danger.
It's an old train that acquired some new riders, recently, and the Conservatives have voted to jump aboard. It depends on societal dissatisfaction. Much depends on the end of war, the decline of energy prices.
Poilievre, Trump, and other populist politicians have attracted support because they call out problems that haven’t been properly acknowledged - unaffordable housing, social dislocation outside of the big cities, etc. Where it goes bad is where they pursue an ideologically-driven and off-kilter explanation of root causes (such as “gatekeepers” as a conspiratorial explanation of more complex macro phenomena) and follow it to bad policy prescriptions. However, since others are not acknowledging the problems or are slow to act, the populists get the support rather than somebody who might actually accomplish something useful.
I don’t see Mr. Poilievre having a vision. All I have heard to date are cries about freedom and criticism of elites. If a guy - an MP since he was 24 with attendant pension and travel perks, can position himself as anti elite - I want to know - what am I?
I look forward to actual policy planks more substantive than "Own the Libs'' and "FREEDOM". While I disagree with his nihilistic and reductive tone, I acknowledge that PP is tapping into real and perceived failings in our current government and system. Something does need to change, but tearing things down without a plan to rebuild is worse than continuing to stumble forwards & backwards imperfectly.
Point for those going for the ad hominem attacks on the author, he is not "old/grandpa" (Carlton grad 2006?) nor partisan as he has worked for both LPC and Doug Ford's PC's. Disagree with the message but if you are going to attack the writer take a moment and do a 2 minute fact check.